Page for Women on Web, which connects doctors with women in places that restrict abortion access, deleted over promotion or encouragement of drug use
Facebook has censored the page of an organization that helps females procure abortion pill, citing its policy against the promotion or encouragement of drug use.
Women on Web, which is based in Amsterdam, helps connect women with physicians who can provide abortion pill if they live in countries where abortion access is restricted. It is a sister organization to Women on Waves, which provides abortions and other reproductive health services on a ship in international waters.
Women on Waves announced that the page had been unpublished on its own Facebook account, writing: Girls on Web offer life-saving information to thousands of women worldwide. Its Facebook page publishes news, scientific information and the protocols of the World Health Organization and Women on Web has answered over half a million emails with women who needed scientific, accurate information essential for their health and life.
We expect Facebook will[ undo] this action soon enough, as access to information is a human right.
This is the second censorship row between Facebook and Women on Web. In January 2012, Facebook deleted the specific characteristics photograph of different groups founder and director, Dr Rebecca Gomperts. The image contained instructions for inducing an abortion using Misoprostol. Gomperts was locked out of her account for two days after re-posting the image, but Facebook subsequently apologized and reinstated both the image and her account.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for commentary.
With virtually 2bn users, the social media site plays a crucial role in circulating news and info around the world. But Facebook has struggled to meet competing demands to allow for the free flow of information while cracking down on graphic material( such as the livestreamed murder of a newborn in Thailand in April ).
In 2016, the company faced international censure over its decision to censor the iconic Vietnam War photo of a naked girl fleeing a Napalm attack. Facebook subsequently altered its policy to allow for editorial decisions about newsworthiness.
On 3 May, amid criticism over its handling of graphic videos, Facebook announced that it would hire 3, 000 more content reviewers. Such content reviewers are tasked with applying the companys community standards, often with uneven outcomes.
Facebooks has faced particular difficulty enforcing its rules for regulated goods prescription drugs, marijuana, firearms, and ammunition. The company bars attempts by private individuals to buy, sell, or trade such items, but has struggled to halt gun sales.
The company has cracked down aggressively on pages related to legal medical marijuana, however. In 2015, the site temporarily banned business publication Crains for promoting a cover story about medical marijuana.
Read more: www.theguardian.com